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maternity leave at 37 weeks?

(31 Posts)
Chimerah Mon 06-Jun-16 07:12:11

Hi ladies

I'm looking for some advice on when to start maternity leave.

I work in London which is a 1.5 hour commute each way from where I live involving a 30 min walk to station, train journey + tube journey with 1 change.

I work in a very fast paced media environment and am rarely able to sit down at my desk. I am also often having to work late, leaving at 7-8pm.

I want to work as long as poss so that I have most time with baby however at 24 weeks I am already finding the commute extremely tiring (and the job!).

I was thinking of officially starting my maternity a week before due date but take my remaining holiday which would mean I start maternity at 37 weeks.

I'm very aware that I'm going to be at my biggest in the hot summer months and I'm starting to panic the 37 weeks may be too late?

Is there anyone who experienced similar circumstances? If so, when did u go on maternity?

Would love to hear your stories / advice


legfaced Mon 06-Jun-16 07:22:58

Im due in August. I'm going at 35 weeks (using 5 weeks annual leave before mat leave starts).

I'd happily go now at 30 weeks if I could - I'm hot, uncomfortable, grumpy and feel dizzy all the time. I mentally clocked out a while back. My commute is the same as yours and makes me want to cry.

I know other people who worked up until 38/39 weeks. It entirely depends how you are feeling.

Can you work from home if it's a hot day/break up your weeks? I've been wfh a lot which has helped but now I can't get comfy at home either.

londonrach Mon 06-Jun-16 07:26:58

I have an hour commute and given up at 30 weeks but doing another job but less hours till nearer the time. Almost gave up at 24 weeks when i was really badly suffering with fainting!

Cric Mon 06-Jun-16 07:35:48

I worked until 38+2. My job is very hands on and I work long hours. However I know people in our company who have gone part time at 26 weeks. It all depends on you and how you feel.

JassyRadlett Mon 06-Jun-16 07:36:30

I have a slightly shorter London commute and went to 38 weeks with both pregnancies - which were both mainly in summer (babies were September and October).

The only thing I'd say is look at whether and how you can slow the job down a bit once you get past 32 weeks or so - not necessarily in terms of hours but in terms of pace. I work in a similarly fast-paced role and after 30 weeks or so I really needed more desk time.

Longtalljosie Mon 06-Jun-16 07:39:51

I went up to 37 weeks both times. Is there anything you can do to make the commute easier - could your partner (if you have one, obviously not a given) run you to the station? Or if you don't have a car, is there a bus? Or perhaps for the last fortnight, a taxi?

InTheSandPit Mon 06-Jun-16 07:53:44

I went past 38 weeks with mine, but took a Wednesday off as I got bigger, so was never in for more than 2 days at a time.

betty10k Mon 06-Jun-16 07:54:48

I went at 38 weeks and am now bored waiting for baby to arrive (40+2 today). Did the same with my first and was seriously bored of the wait by 40+9. Everyone is different though, I found it more relaxing being at work as was sat down most of the day and Am now shattered running around after my 4yr old.

Also worked in London with 1.5hr commute.

ItsyBitsyBikini Mon 06-Jun-16 08:01:04

I went off at 37+4. My office was ridiculously hot even 3 weeks ago so I know how it must be being on a hot train etc! I am now 39+6 and fed up but I couldn't have physically worked any longer. Do what is best for you, I was going to ask if you could work from home a few days a week, but rereading your op it would seem unlikely.

Chimerah Mon 06-Jun-16 08:24:14

Thanks all. My job is quite difficult to do from home but I may suggest it as I think the commute and heat is going to become unbearable.

I have considered driving to the station but parking is £7 per day. Buses are not very regular (one every hour) unfortunately. Taxis are £5 each way. I have taken a few taxis in the evening when I can't face the long walk home, especially if I've worked late, but the cost soon adds up!

I think I'm going to have to have a word with them about wfh and maybe leaving at 4.30 (if they'll let me!) so I can miss the worst of rush hour.

I wish I had more holiday saved up so I could leave a lot earlier!

londonrach Mon 06-Jun-16 09:16:31

Driving to the station good idea. I have to take two trains so drove to one station to cut one train out. Only reason i managed to continue to week 30. Had nasty scare around week 24 fainting on train due to standing so after that approached guard and was allowed to sit first class.

sarahbanshee Mon 06-Jun-16 09:34:29

With DS I went on leave at 36 weeks but then he was 2 weeks late and I wished I'd worked a bit longer to save the leave. With DD I booked Monday and Friday off from 34 weeks, before going on leave at 38 weeks, and that worked out well; conserved my energy and meant I was only commuting 3x a week, and since you have to start handing over anyway in preparation for mat leave it gives you a push to do so!

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Mon 06-Jun-16 09:42:34

I'm 37 weeks today and finished up on Friday. I'd originally planned to work until this Friday coming, but when it came down to it I just couldn't be bothered. This is a bit pathetic, because I have a physically undemanding (but sometimes mentally stressful) job, and no commute as my office is 5 minutes walk from home! On the other hand, I have some complications so am traipsing about to a lot of appointments and hardly seemed to be at work anyway, plus I know I will be induced at 39+3 at the latest, and I wanted to make sure I definitely got a bit of a rest at home. If there was still a chance that I could go to 42 weeks I might have carried on a bit longer. But maybe not!

prettyflowers111 Mon 06-Jun-16 09:45:41

I'm doing exactly the same as you... leaving on maternity at 39 weeks but tagging 2 weeks annual leave onto that to leave at 37 weeks. I'd rather use my maternity once baby is here and have time at home. I'm due August so it's the school summer hols and figuring I can get some time with my 4 y/o in before baby arrives.
You need to do whatever feels right for you, I've been having some trouble with my back and considered leaving earlier but again I think I'd rather 'bank' the maternity leave and use a bit of sick time if push comes to shove (just remember that if you're off sick with pregnancy related illness at the start of week 36 they can automatically start maternity leave).
Would there be a way to reduce your hours as time goes on? Perhaps have an extra day off during the week?

WiIdfire Mon 06-Jun-16 10:03:48

I had a similar commute, long shifts, plus constantly on my feet type job, so similar to you. I did also have SPD which you haven't mentioned though.

I went on mat leave at 36 weeks, with 3 weeks of A/L beforehand, so finished work at 33 weeks. I needed some time to shop for the baby etc, but frustratingly went to 42 weeks, so by the end was a bit fed up, especially as I was too hot and uncomfortable to leave the house. However, by the final week at work I was knackered and no use to anyone, and really couldn't have done much longer.

Other people happily swan on to 40 weeks without a care, so the best thing would be to keep it flexible. If you choose one date to finish, how easily can you bring it forward if you need to? Probably easier that way than trying to put it back to a later date.

Andbabymakesthree Mon 06-Jun-16 10:06:52

You always ask to revise date if you decide later down the line it's just too much.

Osirus Mon 06-Jun-16 10:07:18

I'm 38 weeks now and left work at 32 weeks. I took 5 weeks annual leave and started maternity leave at the end of May. There's no way I would want to be working now and I really started to suffer last week. I would go as early as you can possibly go. I've had a lovely time off!

chloechloe Mon 06-Jun-16 10:46:07

I went at 36 weeks largely because work was totally stressful (found myself in a situation where my fixed term contract was due to end a month after my due date and had to go through a full on selection procedure for my own job when I was 36 weeks pg). In any other circumstances I would have worked longer to have longer at home, as I went 2 weeks overdue and was far too long at home.

This time I'll probably go 2 weeks before if not later.

Depending on your job, bear in mind that, with handing your work over and not taking on new stuff you should hopefully not be as busy as usual. And you can always go earlier if you really can't manage.

wigelspigels Mon 06-Jun-16 13:54:19

With DS1 I worked to 38 weeks and he was born at 39 weeks.
With DS2 who is 2 weeks old, I stopped at 36 with 4 weeks annual leave. He decided to join us at 37.4 weeks. My maternity doesn't start until his due date.

I admire you all with the long London commutes. My commutes were no where that long. I would stop early with the heat and the long commute. Or work from home if possible.

InTheSandPit Mon 06-Jun-16 16:48:13

wigel I'd check your maternity start date. It is quite likely to kick in the day baby arrives, anual leave or not. Make sure the extra days you couldn't take are carried over, and added to the end.

Missingcaffeine Mon 06-Jun-16 21:05:57

I have a busy, stressful and quite active job and an over an hour commute into London.
With my first baby I worked until 37 weeks and really struggled from about 32 weeks onwards at work. It was so horrible I dreaded every day, especially the commute, but it was a July/August heatwave with lots of days around 30 degrees or more and I was commuting on the tube.
Baby then came a week early, and I felt that 2 weeks was not enough. As work had been so crazy and stressful towards the end, I hadn't had time to shop or prepare for baby prior to mat leave. I ended up shopping for a pram and other essentials with a newborn, and I would not recommend that at all!

I'm now 35 weeks pregnant with my second and have planned to finish a week earlier this time at 36 weeks. It is nowhere near as hot and I'm feeling amazing in comparison to at the same stage in my first pregnancy and I do think that is largely down to the temperatures not being quite so high. I feel like I could probably push myself to carry on longer this time if the temperatures stay 25 and below.

I think a lot of it depends on your personality, what you enjoy and how you feel. I don't think I'm someone who could possibly get bored not being at work as there are so many lovely things I could be doing that I'd enjoy a lot more than work! Having said that, I guess if I'd gone 2 weeks overdue, the extra 3 weeks would have allowed me to get done all the things I'd hoped to do.

I regret not taking a little longer in my first pregnancy to just indulge and enjoy my last little bit of childfree time and really prepare for baby. Whilst I'm looking forward to finishing work and spending time with my toddler, my maternity leave is not going be remotely relaxing or self-indulgent this time!

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 06-Jun-16 21:09:17

Can you use holiday?

I took two weeks annual leave and started my maternity leave immediately afterwards.

So I finished work at 36 weeks. Had my baby 3 days in to my proper maternity leave, I was so glad to have had a chance to rest beforehand!

Alisvolatpropiis Mon 06-Jun-16 21:09:44

Sorry, I finished work at 37 weeks. can't do maths

MrBensMrs Mon 06-Jun-16 21:50:19

I don't work in London but have an approx 45min-1 hour commute door to door depending on traffic which is a 10-20 min drive to station, 12 min train and 10-15 min walk to work.
I also have to commute to our London/Manchester offices depending on meetings which was tiring before pregnancy!
I am planning on using 2 weeks A/L to enable me to go off at 36 weeks with Mat leave kicking in at 38 weeks smile

wigelspigels Mon 06-Jun-16 22:46:29

Inthe - I had to take all my leave before my maternity started. Our leave year starts at the start of April. I'm ok with maternity starting later. I'll still accrue my bank holidays while off.

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